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Oct 20 2017

Income Test for Newstart Allowance

Income Test for the Newstart Allowance

The Australian New Start Allowance, a welfare benefit for the unemployed, has its own Income Test which is different to the Income Test for Aged Pensions.

You are allowed to earn up to $104 per fortnight without any deductions, but any earnings over $104 per fortnight will incur a deduction of 50 cents in each dollar.
eg:

$104 earned and you keep it all.
$106 earned and keep the first $104 plus 50% of the extra $2. A deduction of $1 (half of the $2) and you keep $105.00
$204 earned and keep the first $104 plus 50% of the extra $100. A deduction of $50 (half of the $100) and you keep $154.00
$254 earned and keep the first $104 plus 50% of the extra $150. A deduction of $75 (half of the $150) and you keep $179.00

However, if you earn over $254 in the fortnight, you have a slightly higher amount deducted from the excess above $254. This deduction is 60 cents for each dollar earned over $254.
eg:

$254 earned and keep the first $104 plus half of the extra $150. A deduction of $75 (half of the $150) and you keep $179.00
$354 earned and you lose $75 from the first $254 plus 60% of the extra $100 above the $254. A deduction of $135 ($75 + $60 being 60% of the extra $100) and you keep $219.00
$454 earned and you lose $75 from the first $254 plus 60% of the extra $200 above the $254. A deduction of $195 ($75 + $120 being 60% of the extra $100) and you keep $259.00

When one of the couple is receiving a payment from Centrelink, the New Start Allowance claimants income is calculated at half of the combined income.

For a Couple where one does not receive a payment from Centrelink, the New Start Allowance (NSA) claimant will have their payment reduced by 60 cents for every dollar their partner earns over $953 per fortnight.  I will assume this is in addition to the normal deduction.

eg:

NSA Claimant earns $354 and partner earns $1,053 ($100 above their threshold).
NSA Claimant earns $354 and keeps $219, as shown above, but also loses $60 based on the reduction of 60 cents for every dollar their partner earns over $953.
Net NSA payment reduces to $159 ($219 less $60)
This is not confirmed and is ambiguous with the wording on the Centrelink website.

Source: www.humanservices.gov.au/income-test 20 Sept 2017

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